By The Sports Xchange
ATLANTA — Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson ended his August woes with his first career nine-inning complete game, lifting the Twins to a 10-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday at Turner Field.
Gibson (5-7) allowed three runs on eight hits — two in the ninth inning when game was essentially decided. He walked three and struck out six. The right-hander, who entered the game with a 7.98 ERA in three August starts, benefited from two double plays.
Gibson retired 10 consecutive batters until Nick Markakis opened the ninth with his eighth homer. He threw a season-high 115 pitches.
Making his first career start against Atlanta, Gibson gave the Twins a sweep of the two-game series. Atlanta lost for the fourth straight game.
Trevor Plouffe and Jorge Polanco had three hits apiece for Minnesota, and Plouffe knocked in three runs. Brian Dozier, Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each added two hits.
The Twins won the game against the Atlanta bullpen, which melted down for the second night in a row.
It started in the sixth inning when southpaw Eric O’Flaherty (1-4) allowed back-to-back doubles to Rosario and Juan Centeno, a pair of left-handed hitters, to snap a 2-2 tie.
The Twins put it away with three runs in the seventh on an RBI single from Rosario, a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Centeno and a bloop RBI single from Robbie Grossman.
Minnesota added four runs against Jason Hursh in the ninth on a bases-loaded, two-run singles from Dozier and Plouffe.
The loss ruined the debut of Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 overall draft pick from 2014. Swanson swatted an opposite-field single in his second at-bat and finished 2-for-4.
The Twins jumped on Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz for two runs in the first inning. Kepler singled home Dozier, who led off the game with a double, and Kepler scored on Plouffe’s double.
Those were the only runs scored off Foltynewicz. He received no decision after throwing 100 pitches over five innings, allowing five hits and three walks, with seven strikeouts.
The Braves evened the score in the third inning when Freddie Freeman hit his 24th home run, an opposite-field, two-run shot that just cleared the fence in left. The homer marked a career high for Freeman, who hit 23 in two previous seasons.
NOTES: Atlanta recalled SS Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft, on Wednesday and batted him eighth in the lineup. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated INF/OF Mike Aviles for assignment. Aviles was acquired, along with minor league C Kade Scivicque, from Detroit on Tuesday in exchange for SS Erick Aybar. Aviles never reported to the team. Atlanta activated C Tyler Flowers (broken left hand) and placed C A.J. Pierzynski on the 15-day disabled list due to a left hamstring strain. … Atlanta begins a four-game series against Washington on Thursday at Turner Field. RHP Rob Whalen (1-1, 7.31 ERA) will oppose Nationals RHP Reynaldo Lopez (1-1, 5.74) in the opener. … Minnesota opens a four-game series at Kansas City on Thursday. RHP Tyler Duffey (8-8, 5.71) will oppose Kansas City RHP Dillon Gee (4-6, 4.78).